The use of diabetes medication has tripled in Iceland since the turn of the century, Vísir reports. In 2000, Icelanders used 15 daily doses of diabetes medication per 1000 residents. In 2015, that number had risen to 46 doses. The data comes from the OECD.
Rafn Benediktsson, head endocrinologist at the National University Hospital of Iceland does not believe this increase is unique to Iceland. “There is a diabetes epidemic in the world. This epidemic has been growing for decades and has to do overwhelmingly with our lifestyle here in the West,” he stated,
An article in the Icelandic Medical Journal’s October issue predicts that this “continued increase in obesity and diabetes will lead to an increase in mortality due to cardiovascular illness over the next decades.”
Use of diabetes medication has increased at a faster rate in Iceland than in other Nordic countries. Surgeon General of Iceland Birgir Jakobsson says the increase is a manifestation of the country’s lifestyle. “It is possible to reduce the number of cases of type 2 diabetes with an increase in activity and a healthier diet than we consume today. Therefore improving health should be the desired goal for all of us.”